Boston Cardinal Reprimands Hospital CEO Accused of Sexual Harassment

May 22, 2006

Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley has reprimanded the president of an archdiocese-run hospital system accused of kissing and touching four female employees, according to The Boston Sunday Globe.

An investigation, however, determined that Robert M. Haddad, president of Caritas Christi Health Care System, should have been fired. He is accused sexually harassing four women in the network that operates six hospitals and has 12,000 employees.

The Boston Archdiocese acknowledged that O’Malley gave Haddad a “stern reprimand,” a move unanimously endorsed by the health care system’s board, with one abstention.

“Cardinal Sean took these allegations extremely seriously and sought to resolve them as expeditiously as possible, in a manner that is fair to all involved parities,” the archdiocese said in a written statement, the newspaper reported.

The statement describes Haddad’s “hugging or kissing of hospital employees … in public and private” and said that the president had promised O’Malley it would not happen again.

Haddad, 52, did not return the Globe’s phone call seeking comment.

O’Malley’s decision to reprimand and not fire Haddad outraged Helen G. Drinan, a senior vice president for human resources at Caritas Christi who took the initial complaints from Haddad’s accusers.

Drinan and an outside lawyer who conducted an inquiry determined that Haddad should be fired for allegedly violating both federal workplace laws and the written sexual harassment policy of Caritas Christi.

In an e-mail obtained by The Globe, Drinan wrote to the health care system’s board: “I know what will befall this organization when the public learns that the Church in Boston has once again put the powerful predator ahead of the powerless victim.”

O’Malley was installed as Boston’s bishop in 2003 to help the archdiocese heal after a widespread clergy sexual abuse scandal.

Haddad, who has been president for two years, also promised to take sexual harassment sensitivity training and would be fired if there is another incident, according to the archdiocese statement.

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